The referees didn’t have a good Monday night. They missed calls for both the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills all game long, and of course, at the end of a night like this one, the game had to end with controversy.
With the Bills down by seven and driving in the final seconds, Tyrod Taylor connected with Sammy Watkins, who got out of bounds with two seconds left. The referee ruled him in bounds, however, ending the game and preventing Buffalo from taking a final shot at the end zone.
Watch the last play above.
There was some debate as to whether or not Watkins going to the ground right before going out of bounds should have stopped his forward progress and thus kept the clock moving, but as Mike Pereira, the former vice president of officiating for the NFL, noted, the clock should have been stopped since Watkins was never touched:
It still would have been a longshot for the Bills to pull off the miracle–they still would have had 50 yards to go, and Tyrod Taylor’s hurt shoulder wouldn’t help their chances of completing a Hail Mary–but it was a fitting end to a bad night for the referees.
Earlier in the game, an inadvertent whistle stopped a play where Danny Amendola looked ready to rack up a bunch of yardage:
Players from around the league chimed in as the night wore on and the refs made mistake after mistake:
Good job, good effort, refs. But it’s still always nice to have a game completely decided by the players.